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tv   [untitled]    March 25, 2012 1:30pm-2:00pm EDT

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fomented this violence. sociologists and political scientists at the time did interviews with people who were involved in -- or participated in these social disorders. you could look at the work of a scholar named joe figgagan frome 1960s. even the commission reported itself, don't put much stock in the influence of agitators. of black militants. that's not who people said influenced them to do what they did. but i think that that argument is important. it's important to think about, because it shows the divided way that people thought about this violence and the divided way that people thought about the issues, the social issues that were at the center of it. to use a shorthand term, african-americans in cities, or, you know, people of particular leftist political ideas, radicals or activists, they said that these disorders were caused
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by discrimination and police brutality, really. in all of the instances that i gave you as examples, all of it involved an altercation with police officers. so there's something going on about the relationship between urban black people and police officers that is at the center of this issue. that's one way that people interpreted the violence. and in another way was, it has nothing to do with that, it has to do with agitators, militants. this shows, again, i think the divided way that people are understanding the problem. now, let me keep in mind -- let me just say, cities do suffer from the 1960s through the 1990s. they suffer. they suffer population loss. and you have a document with the segrew piece that shows comparisons between populations in the major american cities, the top 25 american cities, at different moments in the 20th century. when you have a moment, look at that. look at which cities experience
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population decline, and look at which cities experience population increase. that's n of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of americans wanted to go live in arizona, or live in what becomes the sun belt, work on their tans, right? the population transference from northeastern and midwestern cities to the emerging sun belt, and california, is a phenomenon that cities experience in the latter third of the 20th century. and it has structural reasons behind it. that you read about. cities suffer. they experience population loss, they do experience erosion of the tax base. that's not a myth. that's not -- that's a very real structural issue. they do experience tremendous poverty, or increased poverty. they do experience job loss, as you read in detroit. they do experience decline in services.
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i mean, you know, look at some pictures of new york city's subway in the 1970s and 1980s. it's not pretty. graffiti, delayed services, trash. all those are reflections of decline in services. cities experienced these. there is experience in decline in housing stock. and there is problems with crime, drugs and violence. i mean, those things are real. so cities do suffer. cities do suffer. keep in mind, though, too, that there are always local people in these cities, residents, activists, housing advocates, teachers, union organizers, there are always people in cities throughout the 20th century trying to fight against these issues. there's always people who are doing that. even though we don't usually think about them. we don't usually study them. they are there. right? they are there. i want you to keep that in mind,
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too. but as you saw in the article about the bay area, you saw in the article about the oakland corridor, fighting against these issues is extremely difficult. it was extremely difficult. the forces of history that urban activists had to fight against were entrenched. they're entrenched in structures of inequality, spatial structures between where people live. they're entrenched in structures of income divides, between who has access to jobs and who comes at kind of the moments of the industrialization. there's historical structures of political divisions, and party -- who can have influence over politics and who can't. why does proposition 14 pass in
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1964. why is the open housing law in california repealed. robert self shows us that part of the reason that that happened is a structural issue in political influence. those who wanted open housing, african-americans, mexican-americans, unions, those who advocated for open housing inals, they didn't have the political power. they didn't have the clout. the real estate corporations, the lenders, the banks, the homeowners associations, they did. and they had amassed it over decades. so there's historical structures of inequality that make it very difficult to fight against these things. there's institutions, right? banking institutions, real estate institutions, political institutions, homeowners institutions that make it very difficult to fight against these problems. and there's rhetoric.
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there's the rhetoric of equality that robert self wrote about. what racism? we're not racists. so what there's no black people who live here, and there never have been, and we don't want them, but we're not racists. we're homeowners. we just want freedom. we're just individuals -- we're just individual freedom-loving people. we're not racists. we're not pot-bellied red-faced southern sheriffs. we're don draper. we're not racists. there's that rhetoric. now, how do you fight against that? how do you fight against historical structures of inequality? how do you fight against political inequality to influence outcome? how do you fight against a rhetoric of individualism and individual rights? how do you point out that racism exists, and it affects structures and societies, if
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people can't see or don't want to see that the racism is there? how do you do that? that's the problem that activists in the north faced. so again, we can use c. wright mills and the sociological imagination to understand the urban crisis. we can ask those interrelated three questions about structure, history and who prevails. i'm going to skip this section. just keep in mind, that crisis is nothing new in cities. it's not like cities existed in human history up until the mid-20th century and then all of a sudden there are crises. in some ways, the function of the city is to deal with crisis. cities since ancient time bring human populations together to deal with commerce and preservation. how can we trade easier, and how can we come together around -- at first, a water source. so more people can stay alive. that's kind of the function of
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cities in some ways is to manage crisis. i had a little interesting anecdote that i wanted to share. in the 19th century, one of the biggest crises in new york city had to do with a major mode of transportation. it had gotten out of control. there were too many people and there were too many of these vehicles for transportation running around the city. it's pre-electricity, it's pre-gasoline combustion engines, so the method of transportation that was causing problems in the city is, what? can we all say it at once? so it gets to the microphone? how were people getting around cities in the 19th century? let's say it together, in unison, one, two, three -- horses. horses. horses were causing problems in cities, in the late 19th century, because there were too many of them. and what do horses do when they walk around central park, and you're behind them jogging, minding your own business? what do -- no, you don't have to
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answer. horse manure. horse manure is a major problem in late 19th century in new york city. what are we going to do with all this horse manure. dooms day scenarios are saying horse manure is going to pile 30 stories by the 1930s. there's no way to get rid of the horse manure. the horses are defecating faster than we can get rid of it. what are we going to do. boom, the invention of electricity solves the problem. electric trolley cars replace the horses. and the people who had the interest in the horse and carriage taxi system, most of the people didn't lose out in this solving to this problem. now, again, that's the technological solution to what was an infrastructure social problem. that was a technological solution. technological solutions aren't going to solve the problems associated with the urban crisis. in some ways, a group points out
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technological innovation makes it worse. so cities have always had crises. they've always had all kinds of crises. the urban crisis is not necessarily new. but it is something that involves a tremendous amount of social structure coming together in a set of issues that's not going to be easily solved by the market or technology. the market and technology didn't create it. so you can't really look to the free market or technology to solve these problems of segregation, unemployment, discrimination, poverty, et cetera. you know, john mcwater makes the case in the book that you read, black people should just move. why are black people in these cities? they're stuck in these cities, they're not leaving because they're dependent on welfare, or they's kind of addicted to this
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etiology of welfare. that's one of mcwater's arguments. why don't they just pick up and move where the jobs are. well, structurally, you know, there are impediments to just doing that. one of the primary ones being housing. how do you just pick up and find housing in other places where there may be jobs. how do you pay for first month's rent, last month's rent, deposit. if you're on public assistance or unemployed. where do you come up with that. that's a structural impediment to doing what john mcwater prescribes. so the problems of the urban crisis are not simply going to be solved by market-based solutions. or technological innovations. because in some ways, that's not what caused it. there's three characteristics, three histories in some ways related that i'll talk about for the remainder of the class. there's the history of the so-called second ghetto. and i want you to think about
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the word ghetto. when you use it or don't use it. i try to remind people when i do lectures that, you know, people don't live in ghettos. people live in communities. there's a difference when you say that. there's a cognitive difference. people don't necessarily live in ghettos, people live in communities. communities in cities. you can say people live in racially segregated communities. but this language of ghettos, and ghettoization, so much of what we read uses the language of the ghetto. but ghettoization i would encourage you to think of it as a process. not necessarily a place. although there are spatial characteristics to racial segregation, poverty,
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joblessness, political disempowerment. there is a spatial connotation to that. and that's very important. the spatial dynamic is important. the white noose around, right, the black neck, that real vivid kind of visceral image that robert self uses from the 1960s document for the title of that chapter. but again, we will use the language of ghetto analytically, use it sociologically. but that's not license to kind of throw it around as if it -- you know, you cross into a particular neighborhood. like you cross into the south side of chicago and there's a sign that ses, welco says, welc the ghetto. no. you know, you cross 96th street in new york, welcome to the hood. it's not like that, all right? ghettoization and ghettos are processes. ghettos, people live in 't live
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communities. communities that are shaped by histories of ghettoization. we're going to talk about what hersh calls the second ghetto. i want to show you some maps. and again, the racial discrimination that shaped these communities, the ghettoization process that shaped urban communities in american cities in the 20th century, they had spatial components. you can see when you use census maps -- you know, this is a wonderful data base called social explorer, you will become very familiar with it, because you have an entire assignment based on it. i know you already became familiar with it because you looked up the populations in your own census track, right? let's just say yes collectively. yeah. okay.
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i did my homework. i said it to you. social explorer is a fantastic tool you'll become very familiar with. let me show you some maps that i created. if it lets me. oh, i didn't sign in. see that? where are my glasses? they're on my face. i have a terribly long password. i want to show you kind of some spatial images of what the process of ghettoization looks like. let's do the one that they've prepared. i like -- no, we'll come back to that one. let's do the ones i've prepared. let's look at detroit. let's look at so-called black detroit. from 1940 to 1990. i'm just going to let it play a few times. this is 1940, all right?
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the shaded-in sections represent the concentration of black people in detroit in 1940. i'm going to play the maps as they go through to 1990. play them a few times. and again, you can see the spatial dynamic of segregation. you know, what it looks like. i'll let it play one more time. now, let's look at white detroit. and you can imagine, again, what the map will look like. that small kind of enclave, that community that's centered right in the middle of the screen in 1940, which had been a black population since 1900, that is going -- the whiteness in there
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is going to expand when we look at the inverse. let's look at chicago, black chicago. i'll let it play one more time. okay. and again, you can imagine the inverse is true for white chicago.
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and let me do two more. let me do oakland -- the oakland belt that you read about in the robert self article. here is kind of the black population in that bay area from 1940 to 1990. again, the reason i picked these years is, 1940 to 1960s is the years hersh points to as the emergence of the second ghetto. and we'll talk quickly about what that means. so that as african-american populations are concentrated in and around oakland, that's kind of where they grow. one of the interesting things about this map, i didn't create it, but there's less pronounced kind of color difference in the map because of large spanish speaking populations that are
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moving into this area. which you read a bit about. but let's just look -- we'll do two more. i'll look at white oakland. you're kind of getting a sense of the pattern of what this looks like. over time, again, and robert self makes this really, really clear, whites are controlling the housing markets around the city. they are regulating the housing markets around the city. they are controlling african-americans from not being able to move in. and then since we are going to spend quite a bit of time on "the wire" and on baltimore -- i did baltimore -- i thought i did. did i? i didn't. i didn't do baltimore. let's do boston, just because -- you know, why not. so white boston.
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all right. you can really get a sense of how the african-american enclaves around the roxbury corridor become concentrated more and more over time. and that will be apparent when we look at black boston. okay. so you get a sense, right, from looking at some of these maps, that there's a spatial component to this history. to the history of the creation of what hirsh calls the second ghetto. african-americans had lived again in cities since there were american cities, there had been populations of african-americans in cities in the 19th century.
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you read a little bit but not much about how those populations increase in the 1910s through the 1930s with kind of that first wave of great migration. earlier historians kind of pointed to that 1890s, 1930s period as the creation of the ghetto. the enduring ghetto is what one historian used that language to refer to what happens to those black communities in cities that form in the early 20th century, as you saw from the maps, it's kind of those small areas, they kind of become the ground zero for the incredibly large african-american communities that come from the 1940s through the 1960s. hirsh points out there is a difference between those black communities and the second ghettos that come from them, from the 40s through the 60s.
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one of the major differences between those two communities are the processes that created it. that created them. with the early 20th century, say the 1890s to the 1930s, african-americans were funneled into particular areas of cities like chicago, detroit, new york. and they couldn't move. the methods that people used to kind of keep african-american workers in those cities were restrictive covenants, community improvement associations and violence. the early 20th century in places like chicago and detroit is characterized by violence as a method of preventing black homeowners from moving into white neighborhoods. restrictive covenant. what are they. in short, restrictive covenants are when a group of homeowners get together and agree not to
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sell their housing to a particular population, primarily in american cities in the early 20th century the main targeted groups were jewish people and african-americans. barring those two communities from moving in. through a collective agreement. through a form of regulation. that's a restrictive covenant. there's the kind of community improvement association, if you've seen or rran, tre is thic example of the community improvement association coming to the african-american family who is moving into an all white neighborhood and the community improvement association representative says we'd like to buy your house back from you because you know, it's always better when you live with your own people. i would encourage you to watch the version of the movie with t. or read the book or the play,
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rather. community improvement associations served as a way for white homeowners to collectively keep out undesirables. then there is good the old-fashioned violence. bombings, shootings, mobs outside of recently bought homes recently bought by african-americans. you n in chicago and in detroit from the early 20th century. that's what kind of maintained the so-called -- the first ghetto. what happens because of this, because of this concentration of african-americans in these restricted areas. there's incredible strain on housing. and there's increased tensions that lead to violence. 1917 to 1919, waves of violence spread throughout cies in places like chicago, east st.
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louis, illinois, washington, d.c., tulsa, oklahoma, 1921, elaine, arkansas. waves of violence. literal race riots. and hirsh talks about that a bit in the article you read. these were pitched battles between blacks and whites, very different from the so-called commodity riots of the 60s. where black and white people ren't killing each other impossible by the mid 1960s. that the second ghetto was so calcified, it was so hardened by a different set of structural processes, that you didn't have black and white people shooting each other like you did in 1919 in the red summers in the mid 1960s. you didn't have that. it was socially impossible. so what changes?
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what changes to bring about this second ghetto? the rise of the second ghetto. there is still the use of restrictive covenants. you saw that in the article on california. homeowners corporations are still going to effectively use some sort of subterfuge to prevent undesirables from moving in. according to a 1948 decision. there are still restrictive covenants. even more significant is the role of government. government. and he particularly points to new deal institutions. hirsh points out the homeowners loan corporation, the federal housing authority and the veterans administration as three key government institutions that play a role in the intense spatial segregation of african-americans from the 40s through the 60s. how does it work? we should even ask the question why. like why wouldn't you want to live next to a black person that could buy a home in your neighborhood?
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why wouldn't you want to. like why would this cause all of this calamity f. they can afford the home they are making similar income as you. it's not just give the house away to any black person because we want black neighbors. black people who tried to move into the detroit family, you know, he's a doctor, he has -- he is a middle class hard working citizen. when he tries to buy a home in a white section of detroit, they try to kill him. mobs surround the house. his brother, a family member of his shoots somebody. that person goes to jail. dr. sweet, you know, he's involved in all of this stress. he eventually moves out of the neighborhood and kind of dies from the stress.
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why wouldn't you want dr. sweet as your neighbor? there's a lot of reasons for it. one is you have all of these conceptions of who black people are and who they aren't. but two, there are structural reasons that make it so that when black people move into white neighborhoods, when neighborhoods turn, that in the eyes of lenders, real estate institutions, brokers, banks, that this is a sign that a neighborhood is in decline. that this is a sign that a neighborhood's property values are going to go down. so, in its essence, white people don't want to live next to black people because some of them are racist, and some of them have extremely visceral fears about the loss of their property value. what does this look like? well, with something like the holc, this is a document from a book by craig steven wilder, historian at m.i.t. who wrote about brooklyn, new york, and
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showed the ways that racial ideology played a role in brooklyn's social history. wilder provided us with this holc map. if you can notice, can't see it too good but right in the center, right around here, right by the 1930s, this is what becomes the black section of brooklyn. this is kind of what becomes the short-hand term of bedford stuyvesant. its holc grade is a d, a lot of these areas in northern central brooklyn which have d grades are areas where there are already african-american populations so. when the homeowners loan corporation, a government underwriting agency which makes it possible for people who are not homeowners to acquire loans to get homes, or for people who are homeowners to refinance and improve their homes, this government program downgrades predominantly black areas and prevents them from being viable investments.


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